My 30 day Nutritional Cleanse

My ‘Before’ photos after 2 months of clean eating and hard training.

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The program in a nutshell

The Nutritional cleansing weight-loss program involves:

  • 6 capsules in the AM
  • 2 meal replacement shakes
  • 6 capsules in the PM
  • 1 meal of protein and vegetables
  • No alcohol, no caffeine (Or as little as possible).

Hearing this outline I immediately thought ‘Who wouldn’t lose weight on this?… If they actually follow through with it’. Like many fads they usually work (short-term) if you have the unwavering willpower to follow them, which most people (including myself) do not.

Not surprisingly, around 10 members at my studio signed up straight away. What was surprising… jaw-dropping I-can’t-believe-my-eyes surprising, was that every single person stuck to it – 100%!

Despite my years of begging, pleading and even bribing clients to at least cut back on booze, coffee and/or sugar, for some reason clients seemed to follow the protocols of this line of supplements with 100% compliance, again – Shock horror!

Although not hugely overweight, the clients lost between 4-8kgs and 40-55cm over the 4 weeks. This prompted me to take a closer look.

What I signed up for

I signed up for the ‘Performance’ version of the program. This involves eating 2-3 meals with 1-2 Meal replacement shakes/day, as well as the 6 capsules AM & PM. Despite being a big eater, I only needed the 2 meals and 1 shake.

I did it for 3 reasons:

  1. To experience what my clients were going through.
  2. To see if I could train and function even better than I do with my already healthy diet and lifestyle.
  3. I’m always keen to learn the latest and greatest with all things health-related, including supplements, detoxes and nutritional cleanses.

To make this experiment as accurate as possible, for the 2 months before starting the cleanse I ate ultra-clean, trained as hard as I possibly could, both on the track (400m intervals and 100m sprints) and lifted as heavy as I could in the weight room. This resulted in me being the pretty-much the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been.

Training at this intensity was good for my (I’m not getting older) ego, however I was mentally and physically exhausted, and although I restrict myself to 2 coffees/week, I was dreaming day & night of cappuccino baths and shots of espresso. I also had a layer of body-fat I couldn’t quite shake, I attributed this to getting older (I’m 38).

The Cleanse

I started the 30-day performance cleanse with an open mind and by day 2, I could tell why my previously defiant clients had such success with this program.

  1. After taking the morning supplements and shake you don’t have to use the unreliable will-power, you just don’t feel like having that caffeine pick-me-up, that piece of mid-morning cake and even a lunch such as steak sandwich seemed way too heavy to handle. I only felt like a salad (with some protein) and a light salad or soup at night.
  1. The combination of the enzymes, herbal capsules and the 1 meal replacement shake do everything a good diet should: They provide so much nutrition you don’t feel like eating or drinking any CRAP (Caffeine, Refined Carbs/Sugar, Alcohol, Processed foods).
  1. By saturating my cells with so many nutrients I found new habits developing such as: Drinking more water, eating less, eating slower (breaking a 30-year old bad habit), not staring at everyone that walked by with a coffee with awkward envy.

Results:   My ‘After’ photos – (Day 30)

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Unfortunately it didn’t add 20kgs to my bench press or squat, nor did my running times get significantly faster, but hey, these are herbs, not steroids.

Being very body aware and in tune with my gut and body, there were some undeniable changes I noticed:

  1. Without intending to, I lost 2.2kgs and 5% body-fat, making me the leanest and most energetic I’ve been in around 15 years. I had this tested and I found out my body was holding onto ‘Environmental pollutants’ in my fat cells, this explains why I couldn’t shake that last bit of fat off with exercise and diet alone. I needed assistance to fully flush and detoxify my body in order for the layer of body-fat to come off safely.
  1. The energy during my training sessions was good, but it was the other 23 hours where I REALLY felt the difference. I stopped craving and consuming coffee, my attention span was better at work, my tolerance level for the kids was much higher when I got home and for the first time in about 20 years I was beating my 5am alarm clock! All signs my cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones are at healthy levels.
  1. Although I never usually do more than 20 minutes cardio training, by week 3 I felt I had an extra lung and my cardio system and was recovering faster between laps, especially if I had an ‘E-shot’ which is the pre-workout drink.

Here’s what I learnt:

  1. Even though my diet is 90-95% fresh organic produce, with the current pace of my lifestyle, I function significantly better when using this supplement range.
  1. You’ve got to have a life: It is always ideal to stick to a cleanse 100%, however, the end of big work project and a birthday fell within the 30 days, which meant I had a couple of beers and couple of pieces of birthday cake. For long-term compliance, you can’t resent or hate what  you’re doing, so I enjoyed my indulgences without guilt and kept up the supplements.
  1. I was reminded of the wise words of Paul Chek ‘Never Judge anything until you’ve tried it’.

Who I would recommend it to:

  • Anyone that wants to lose weight or drop body-fat that is not getting their desired result from a wholefoods diet.
  • Anyone wanting a kick-start a weight loss program.
  • Cross-Fit and endurance athletes. I found it provided more energy during endurance sessions rather than strength sessions.
  • Busy people – Regardless of whether you’re training or not I’d recommend it to anyone that has physically or mentally demanding lifestlyes.

The shakes are very convenient and can mean an extra 30 minutes of sleep in the morning, this is especially handy when you start your days at 5am.

Who I wouldn’t recommend it to:

  • People that can’t stand drinking shakes or taking pills. As compliance with pill taking and shake drinking is vital to both programs (weight loss and performance) you’ve got to be ok with this, otherwise you just won’t stick with it.

The bottom line:

 While nothing will ever replace good quality food and water, you can complement these healthy habits with the appropriate amount of nutritional supplements that suit you and your lifestyle demands.

I will not continue with the Isagenix bars or snacks, however the shakes make a convenient breakfast and the herbs, elixirs and enzymes are things that my diet (as pure and amazing as it is) does not provide me with.

End Goal:

Ideally, my lifestyle will slow down enough so that I will not need to take any supplements and hopefully no medications. But, while I have 3 jobs, 2 young kids and like to train relatively hard, I function better with these supplements and understand there is a long-term benefit to integrating these into anyone’s lifestyle, not just a quick fix diet.

That’s my Isagenix experience, thanks for listening. Here’s my token happy flex shot.

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Supplements – A waste of money or a modern day necessity?

Wholefoods vs. Supplements

Firstly, why supplement? Can’t I get all my nutrients from wholefoods?

100 years ago the answer would have likely been ‘Yes’, but with the introduction of pesticides, processed foods, pollution, excess oestrogen exposure, poor soil and over 80,000 foreign chemicals coupled with…

… a culture largely dependent on stimulants such as: caffeine, white flour, white sugar and alcohol, it would be fair to say the vast majority of people living in modern cities cannot get 100% of their nutrients from food alone.

All of the modern-day pollutants and stimulants listed above block and/or drain the essential nutrients from our body system and leave us with cravings, low energy, poor mood, food addictions, weakened immune systems, short attention spans and pre-mature ageing.

The above signs & symptoms are often dismissed and accepted as normal ageing. BUT as a wise man once told me, “Just because it’s normal, doesn’t make it healthy”.

How do I know if I need a supplement?

If you experience any of the above signs or symptoms you are likely to benefit from certain supplements. It is unfortunate, however unless your lifestyle happens to mimic a Tibetan monk living and breathing with nature chances are a nutritional supplement could really help.

This is particularly true for people who juggle a hectic schedule, often feel rushed/stressed, need an alarm to wake up, need a coffee to REALLY wake up, don’t or can’t sit down to relax at every meal, and live in a city.

Which one do I get?

Get assessed. It is always a good idea to get tested by either a kinesiologist, nutritionist, naturopath or via a bio-resonance test, to see exactly what you need and how much to take.

Then take the HIGHEST QUALITY form of that supplement, whether it be a probiotic drink, a specific tablet or even fermented foods such as sauerkraut.

Your nutritionist/naturopath will likely have a preferred brand of these supplements which they will recommend. I also have my preferred sources, but I’ll go into those more next week.

How do I know it’s working?

You could get re-tested by your therapist, however my preferred way is to get in tune with your body and note how you feel. Generally, you should notice a distinct difference within two weeks.

How long do I take them?

This depends on how far and long you were out of balance. For example, a healthy person might take 1 cycle of antibiotics following an illness. (Antibiotics destroy both good and bad gut bacteria). As they were likely to have had healthy gut flora previous to the antibiotics, regaining good gut balance should only take 3 months of a probiotic program to bring them back to full health.

Someone who has had a long history of stress, is a daily coffee drinker and has a poor diet will take much longer to regain a healthy gut balance.

How much should I spend?

Just like food, you get for what you pay for – a cheap price usually means a cheap (and useless) product.

Conclusion:

When consuming any new food or supplement introduce 1 at a time and really listen to how your body responds.

On-going self-experimentation is essential to long and lasting health as your body ages and your lifestyle and environmental stressors constantly change.

Get access to more of Tim’s Tips by downloading the BBB app. For the cost of a coffee, get the BAD, BETTER and BEST versions of protein powders, fish oils and other supplements as well as over 1,000 common foods in the western diet.

BOTTOM line: Most people would benefit from some form of nutritional supplement to COMPLEMENT their wholefoods diet.

BBB – Helping you make BETTER choices everyday

Why calorie counting is flawed

Coffee and muffin

Calorie Counting is Flawed. Here’s Why…

Since the start of the dieting era (early 1980s) there have been many books, programs and, more recently, apps that can give you a relatively accurate measure of the calorie content of thousands of foods.

While the theory of burning more calories than you eat to lose weight is scientifically possible, we are not scientific beings, we are emotional beings with many complex hormones (and women have more of these hormones than men). It is because we are emotional beings that the ‘Counting Calorie’ system does not work in the long-term.

If you want proof, put these calorie-counting approaches to the test, without changing your usual calorie intake or exercise/activity level.

  1. Have no more than 6 hours sleep a night, drink at least 4 cups of coffee/day, train extra hard and take on more work/responsibilities than you can healthily handle. Then see what happens to the fat at the front of your belly.
  1. Make 80-90% of your energy intake from carbohydrates, even the “Good ones” like wholemeal bread & cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Then see what happens to your love handles, the area just above your hip bones.
  1. Ensure broken sleep (most mothers with newborns do this anyway), have most of your set calorie intake from processed foods – all the low-fat, sugar-free food products you like, and drink some form of alcohol every night.                                                   If you’re a female go on the contraceptive pill and if you’re a male just drink more beer. Then see what happens to your body-fat around your hips, thighs, butt and calves.

Doing any of the above approaches you will find it almost impossible to lose weight from specific areas of your body, you can even burn off MORE energy than you eat, but believe me the body-fat won’t shift.

There are millions of dieters who go through this deprivation and frustration week after week, ruining their metabolism and suffering emotionally.

The solution is to learn to read your body and understand how to lose weight the easy and efficient way, without counting calories or going hungry every day for the rest of your life.

‘Tim’s Tips’ in the Bad, Better, Best Food Choices’ app provides you with effective, proven and long-term ways to lose weight. Download now if you want to empower yourself with accessible, practical ways to get healthier, slimmer and happier.

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